Two Poems

Meghan McClure

Flint Against Bone

 

One brother made my elbows,

the other my knees.

They struck until

 

I became a sharp knife.

I took to the woods,

looking for saplings –

easy to cut and bend.

I made of them a crown

I wore alone, speaking to the sky.

 

 

Fratricide

 

Brothers: To see your brothers, while dreaming, full of energy, you will have cause to

rejoice at your own or their good fortune; but if they are poor and in distress, or begging

for assistance, you will be called to a deathbed soon, or some dire loss will overwhelm

you or them.

 

Killing: To dream of killing a defenseless man, prognosticates sorrow and failure i

n affairs. If you kill one in self-defense, or kill a ferocious beast, it denotes victory and a

rise in position.

 

from 10,000 Dreams Interpreted

 

 

After dreaming all night that I’ve killed you and nobody knows, I am hungry                                                                                                                                                                                              but unworthy

of nourishment.  How can I eat when the echo of your begging bangs in my ear?

                                    What can I eat that won’t remind me of you?

The apple purples under my thumb and the mealy mouthful grinds down to my stomach,

 

                                                                                                                           I ingest even the bruise of it,

swallow the stem and seeds like pills. Every apple reminds me of those Sunday school

stories we heard

                              if guilt was strong and we woke on time and none of us cried until hives

                              covered us and if the car started and nobody was arguing with God.

                                                                                                                                      Remember how

Adam and Eve were of the same rib? That’s us. Minus the repopulating the earth part.

We expanded

                             under the same ribs, kicked the same bladder, stubbornly grew large in

the same womb.

 

And isn’t what they did a form of killing each other? I was always afraid we’d do that too.  

                 Pushing each other down the stairs or putting pillows over mouths or kicking until our                              stomachs were overripe plums and chasing each other with knives because –

                                                                                                                                                                               wasn’t

this our garden to do with what we wanted. We found out how we could uproot anything

                 if we tried hard enough.  

 

Life forked like a serpent’s tongue –

                                                           I ran, retreated, hid in a cave. I’ve gone pale with

                                                           the hiding.

                                                          You stood your ground. Hands on your hips,

                                                          chin up, ready to face whatever beast came from the dust.

 

 

 

 

 About the Writer
Split Lip Magazine

Meghan McClure lives in Washington. Her work can be found in Mid-American Review, LA Review, Water~Stone Review, Superstition Review, Bluestem, Pithead Chapel, Proximity Magazine, Boaat Press, and Black Warrior Review.  Her collaborative book with Michael Schmeltzer, A Single Throat Opens, will be published by Black Lawrence Press in June 2017.